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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B
John Reed

MIT 1500 MIDTERM REVIEW TERM LIST Cultural Determinism: technology is more determined by the human element. Culture determines the technology - ex. Racist scientists that designed camera that didn’t recognize black people Technological Determinism: - Brazil clip where everything is dictated by rules and technology - Introduction of new technologies  revolution o Ex. Mac ad Culture: everything we don’t have to do Enlightenment: European concept, late 18 century, focus on human mastery over nature/people, what can the human do/build and how can technology help us - Reason/Rational Thinking (uni system, legal system) - Decline of the Monarchy (French and American Revolution  all around end of 18thC) - Decline of the Church, rise of literacy Sublime: something that induces a sense of awe, overwhelm - consumer, natural, technological - Technological Sublime: replaces religious or natural sublime o Feelings are the same o Overpowering creations of human kind o Ex. Dam, railroad, brookyln bridge, las vegas, avatar, 3D technology o Often used by technology ads o “upgrades” Technology: the apparatuses, rules, and structures - technology is the new frontier Actor-Network Theory: certain things can frame the way that technologies are used and thought of Progress: movement forward, north American progress and place of new beginnings (new utopia/eden) - changes in space, time, wage - people forced off of their land - what is needed to progress? Money Technocracy: a society where scientists, experts, technology are in CHARGE. Believe that certain technologies can solve societies problems. Rationalization: the destruction/ignoring of information to facilitate it’s processing - standardization and paper work - efficient, calculability, predictability, replacement of human judgement - ex. borat cheeses, how to grill a hamburger MAJOR THINKERS/READINGS Thinker Major Points Tenner - technique determines our use of the technology and what it means to us (2003) - meaning is frozen and constructed by society John Law - technology has an effect on the way we communicate (1992) - There are preferences and Resistance o ex. Twitter o ex. Actors can mediate within a system of relations - technique is cultural - people can identify with a technology (ex. I’m a MAC I’m a PC) - knowledge is a product or effect of a network of heterogeneous materials (Linked Systems) - living and artificial are connected, interaction is mediated - says Thomas - adopted shoelaces at beginning of 19 century to defy King Charles Jefferson - progress leads to human innovation (on the - technology is a servant to human mind openness of - science is a liberating enabler (progress tied to liberation) science – early - America’s technology and progress inspired the rest of the world 19c) Ben Franklin - refused to patent his stove (late 18 c) - progress is a gift to humanity, if you can improve upon the stove you can - OPEN SOURCE – non-profit gift communities  ex. Firefox, if you can improve the code it’s better for everybody else Daniel - American exceptionalism Webster - Science and progress are American property (American - Webster is the anti-franklin exceptionalism - Says we need to expand using army for people to grow, he cared about the TECH not mid 19 c)h the people Taylor - mcdonalds is taylorist - scientific management - separates head from the hand - brain – management, brawn = labour - second industrial evolution - monotonous but compensated - “one best way” - ex. Food, stardardized way to perform tasks Gillette - progress is a mega American corporation, corporate “utopia” - suggested a World Corporation - tech determinist view, also a technocracy - also proposed “Metropolis” (1894)  center of all power on earth is Niagara falls - could be powered by Niagara falls itself, power had to be generated on the spot - re-make the world in a standardized, massified, efficient, corporate way Toffler - post-industrial - information age - he summarizes results of the exploration of the new “electronic frontier” - Marx - crisis of control - mid to late 19c - discussed automation and social change - people, technology and machines are a NETWORK - we are the organs of the factory, stitched in with technology - technology (especially manufacture) can be autonomous (have a mind/page/agenda of their own) - division of labour - absorbs all previous skill, experience, knowledge - Hybrid Theory: technologies replace, now exceed what we can do  systems spawn systems and are capable of constant improvement (ex. The Matrix where humans are fuel for the machines) - In his book “Capital” he says Duchess of Sutherland had people removed from their land physically during Industrial Revolution Ford - Ideal City proposed around same time  in Muscle Shoals, Alabama - “I will employ one million workers at Muscle Shoals” - automated taylorism - assembly line, contained, hierarchy, 2 industrial evolution - Centralized, Standardized, Mass Production, Control through Technology (Inflexible Technologies, De-skilling, Speed), Monoculture - Lack of variety MAJOR EVOLUTIONS th First Industrial Revolution/Evolution  end of 18 Century - Intro to POWER (water, steam, factories, machine tools, machines that make machines, social reorganization) - Results: o Social changes in space (concentration and relocation of people), time (at industrial level “punching in”), and wage (people didn’t work for a wage before) - Acts Passed: th th o Enclosure Acts: 18 and 19 Century forced people to work for a wage o Vagrancy Acts: says you cant be a vagrant - Major thinkers: Karl Marx Second Industrith Revolution/Evolutionth - late 19 century to early 20 - mass production, mass efficiency - Steel, Electricity, Chemicals - Linking of machines - Major thinkers: Daniel Webster Digital Panopticism: facebook Digital Taylorism: separating of thinking from doing - iTunes genius - tracking of something to make things easier for us “Posts”: - Post-Industrial (Toffler) (Early 1970’s) o Focus on immaterial  goods and services (fb, google)  Enables communication o Information age - Post-Fordist (1960s) o Move towards management in another country o De-centralized o You can now personalize and have model changes, upgrading o Worker has to be multi-skilled now o Ex. Woman living in her kitchen, refrigerator match mood o Ex. Panoptic quality about TIVO o Niche marketing - Post-Modernism o Late capitalism (multi-national, globalization – shared global consciousness) o Flexible production, multi-skilled workers o Focus on emotion and on the surface (globalization and virtual, immaterial, commercials, packaging) MIDTERM REVIEW - study the overview of each lecture - exam will ask you to work across o define both terms and make connection o ie: relationship b/w o-desk AND post-fordism  o-desk: an online company that allows people to outsource work and work together with people without having to be in the same room  it also allows for paying people and monitoring (screen-shots) of workers  post-fordism Issues with Digital Property 1. The Commons (property that belongs to everyone) a. Open Commons: no single person has exclusive control (sea, sky). We have regulations and agreements. b. Limited Commons: degrees of regulation (ex. Freeway/highway) 2. Capitalism, Enclosure and Property a. Enclosure: accumulation by dispossessions i. Colonization: - destruction of natural economy - confiscation of land - creation of export-only economy - ex. Potosi, Brazil  mine, over 8,000,000 people died to extract the materials that they mine - powerlessness was created to enable capitalism - majority world finances industrial revolution for minority north th ii. England in 17 Century - Labour pool created by eviction - Tied to industrial rev, carried out by parliament - Raise taxes, drive farmers off land and into mines - Ex. Common property VS enclosure b. Capitalist Property i. Features - Production of goods by private companies for profit - Competition within scarcity - Ex. Clip from Glen Gary, Glen Ross - People put up with bad workplace to pay bills - Innovation: always trying to innovate, exciting, but is also a THREAT - Ex. Ford and mass production - Not enough willing labour force - Software isn’t scarce ex. Inception ii. The Blob is a metaphor for capitalism, everything is absorbed to feed this machine, absorbed for and by profit iii. Property and digital property rights  culture (expression) i
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